Our cloud-base product has a bit of a learning curve and we suspect this is affecting the # of conversions we get via free-trials. We're considering a number of approaches to improve conversions and aren't sure which way to go. Any insight is greatly appreciated!
Some things we've discovered through testing and other anecdotal evidence:
Prospects who find our service through search engines generally feel that we don't provide sufficient vision into the product. In tests, they indicated that they wanted to see screenshots, videos, tutorials and the like in order to determine if the product is the right solution for them. Fact: We require prospects to sign up for a free trial in order for them to see the actual product.
Anecdotal evidence suggest that intervention from a sales person (within minutes of prospect signing up for a free trial), helps them to better understand the power of the solution. However we don't have any real data that these folks convert after speaking with a sales person.
We recently completed research with prospects (those who had gone through our current trial flow, but had not converted*), testing a flow that provided detailed information about the product including screenshots, reviews and ratings as well as access to a preview of the product, which allowed them to "kick the tires" so-to-speak. While we got very positive feedback from participants (flow was improved, felt more confident that the product might meet their needs), we still don't know if they would convert.
Given the complexity of the product and a somewhat steep learning curve, an alternative approach would be to require interested parties to sign up for a free demo with a "coach" before allowing them into a free trial. The thinking is that the coach will help speed up understanding about how the product works, more fully exposing it's true power - and (hopefully) clearing up any questions or misconceptions. The concern with this approach is a belief that most folks will NOT sign up for a free demo.
Does anyone out there have a similar problem, or have you tested similar approaches to improve conversion. Any thoughts are surely appreciated!!
*Lack of conversion was not necessarily due to lack of understanding or interest. In some cases, for instance the evaluator was not the purchaser and pricing was the issue. Pricing & packaging is being evaluated as a barrier to conversion as well.